in the comments to a recent leitenberg post about chalabi & ritter et al, starroute wrote:
This stuff is probably best understood in the context of more general events of 1996-98, as detailed at a Cooperative Research page on Chalabi and in that New Yorker article from 2004 by Jane Mayer which was referred to in the original post.starroute speak, you listen.
In early 1996, the CIA stopped supporting Chalabi. This was followed a few months later by the catastrophic failure of a CIA-sponsored coup attempt by Iyad Alawi -- Chalabi's warnings that the plans had been compromised having been dismissed as sour grapes. By August, Saddam had crushed Chalabi's allies in Kurdistan, and Chalabi set up shop in Washington with Francis Brooke of the Rendon Group and started trying to appeal directly to Congress.
By June of 1997, Chalabi had forged an alliance with JINSA and the Neocons -- particularly Wolfowitz, Perle, and Feith and Zell, as well as Cheney. That November, David Wurmser had an editorial in the Wall Street Journal saying the US should support the INC.
In January 1998, Chalabi met in London with Scott Ritter and -- according to that New Yorker piece -- Ritter made the mistake of telling Chalabi exactly what the inspectors were looking for, and Chalabi obligingly fabricated the evidence. (This is the same meeting referred to in the original post as the point where the mobile labs idea was introduced.)
The PNAC and Committee for Peace and Security in the Gulf letters calling for regime change in Iraq came out that January and February. That summer, the Downing Plan was being circulated, claiming Iraqi insurgents could topple Saddam with only minimal support from US air power and special ops. By October, Congress had passed the Iraq Liberation Act, endorsing regime change giving $97 million to the INC.
So what it seems to amount to is that the Chalabi/Neocon alliance was pushing very heavily between November 1997 and October 1998, pulling out every propaganda tool and going over the head of the Clinton administration to Congress. (It may not be coincidental that this involves the same period of time and much of the same cast of characters as Sibel's charges. It also may not be coincidental that this was the same period as the Clinton impeachment movement, with the impeachment motion itself being passed in December 1998. But figuring out how it all fits together is something else again.)
as we get more distance from the fact, the clinton impeachment looks increasingly like part of a much broader conspiracy. try this post for some context - livingston, corallo, abramoff.
meanwhile, apparently 911 was clinton's fault.